Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“They control the House of Lords and they have a majority there”

Grant Shapps, Defence Secretary, BBC

Facts

During an interview with Laura Kuenssberg, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated that “they [the Labour Party] control the House of Lords and they have a majority there.”

Shapps had said he hoped the government’s Safety of Rwanda Bill would become law, appealing to “Keir Starmer and Labour to stop frustrating and blocking Conservative efforts to stop these boats from coming.” 

When Kuenssberg noted that it was now up to the House of Lords, Shapps replied, “no it’s not. This is what they keep saying, but they control the House of Lords and they have a majority there.”

As Full Fact points out, Labour does not have a majority in the House of Lords, nor does the party “control” it. 

In fact, as independent think tank the Institute for Government noted in August 2023, the Conservatives are the largest party group in the House of Lords, with 270 eligible peers, versus Labour’s 175 eligible peers. 

Verdict

Grant Shapps was misleading BBC viewers.

We emailed Grant Shapps’ parliamentary office offering him the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Client Journalism

Kuenssberg did not correct Shapps or remind viewers that Labour does not  “control” the House of Lords.

We emailed the BBC Press Office offering them the chance to respond. We received no response.

Published 28 Jun 2024
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